Places Visited and Things Done (In no particular order):
MANILA; MAKATI CITY (November 16-19)
– Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica
– Fort Santiago
– Rizal Park (Lapu-lapu and Jose Rizal monuments)
– Night Market
– Manila Bay
– Passed by the red light district
In Manila, the traffic is horribleeeee. Horrible! At the moment there is a lot of construction but get this.. there are rarely any cross walks for pedestrians. In Makati City, luckily there are a lot of officers around to help regulate traffic and help the pedestrians cross. However, thy are not always around, especially outside of Makati City. You have to learn to be aggressive and hold your hand out to signify that you will be crossing. There aren’t many buses in busy areas. They have Jeepneys which are privately owned small vans that are used like a bus.
I didn’t read much about the Philippines when I came. I knew their islands were beautiful and I thought Manila could be nice too, given that it is the capital city of the Philippines. Getting to Makati City which is in Manila, the area is not developed. For some reason I was surprised because I figured they have a lot of support from America, just like South Viet-Nam, which seems to be a bit more developed now. At some instances you might not feel safe (as a girl) because people are in dire need of money. What I also found out, which made me feel a bit unsafe afterwards, was that the sex trade is huge here… Just wow. I heard that they start as young as 15 years old. A few guys walked through the red light district and several girls would cling onto their arms. Other than that, it wasn’t dangerous.
Hostel: Our Melting Pot
The staff here are always cleaning and are available 24/7. You can check in at any time. This was great for me because my flight landed close to midnight. Washrooms and rooms are clean although I have to admit, did not look as nice as the ones I stayed in Japan but hey, it still did pretty good for a country like the Philippines. I want to give a big shout out to Chateau, one of the workers there. She had an amazing positive personality. She was very helpful and funny. Of all the hostels, I met some of the most adventurous people here 🙂
What I Learnt About the Philippines and More:
1. There are practically no cross-walks. Police officers help regulate traffic
2. Filipinos love sweet foods. Majority of their main dishes are sweet.
3. There are a lot Chinese/Japanese stores in Manila
**TIP: There is an airport tax that you must pay in order to proceed with checking in when you are departing. The fee is 550 pesos.